Through the Night (2020) directed by Loira Limbal as her first feature-length documentary is an intimate look at a 24-hour daycare in Westchester, New York. At the center of the daycare and the film is Delores “Nunu” Hogan, whose huge loving heart wins over the audience. This documentary proves the theory that the more specific a story, the more universal it feels. This lone daycare and the children and parents who utilize its needed service are a microcosm of what is happening all across this country…it’s not so bad if there are plenty of other Nunu’s out there.
The tone of the film definitely resonates right now. A 24-hour daycare may seem like an unusual thing for a person who works a day job, but what if you are a single parent working two or three jobs? Who can watch your children? One of the parents who has two daughters enrolled in the daycare – one whose birthday during the filming makes her ineligible for government support, is a surrogate for the many families right now. As a result of the current pandemic, one can only imagine how much harder it is for everyone in need of these services right now.
Nunu has made sacrifices in order to help those in need. While she has made a career taking care of many children, it has been at the cost of other dreams. Now that she is getting up there in age, it is clear some regrets are starting to surface. Nunu clearly loves what she is doing, but there is a longing for something else, and a regret that time is waning. It’s this element of the film that is both inspiring and heartbreaking.
Through the Night is fantastic in many ways, and it really showcases the power of documentaries. This film is moving, informative, and relatable. If you find yourself on the fence about documentaries, this is a human interest story that will potentially sway you to the right side. Loira Limbal is a filmmaker to watch, and her movie earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.